Watch your Mouth

Watch Your Mouth

The great puritan pastor Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) spoke these informing words: “we know metals by their tinkling, and men by their talking.”

Isn’t it amazing how your words (though they may be few or many), can unveil your entire character? Usually you can guess what someone’s passion is by listening to what frequently comes from his or her lips. In addition to this, our words are not only revealing, but they can also be dangerous. Consider the following proverb, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise” ().

is a classic passage on the topic of speech. James begins by warning his readers that not many of them should become teachers, knowing that they “will be judged with greater strictness” (). This is a very important truth all preachers and teachers need to understand. To be negligent due to a lack of study or to be crass so as to “relate” or to get a response is unacceptable. Such actions ought not to mark the preacher of the word of God. The preacher and teacher will stand before God one day and give an account. With this in view, Continue reading Watch your Mouth

19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

Dealing with Temptation

Temptation_-_Cat_and_Goldfish_Bowl

Temptation to sin is a struggle all of us experience. Sadly, a natural tendency of people is to shift the blame away from themselves. In doing so, they wrongly diagnose the problem and ignore the symptoms and therefore don’t receive the biblical solution. In this brief post, I want to look at temptation from the lens of .

The Source of Temptation

James makes it clear that God is not the source of our temptation. He can’t be tempted becauseHe has no capacity or vulnerability to temptation (; ; ) and therefore He does not tempt (). So then, where does temptation come from? says, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire”. He illustrates the source of temptation with fishing metaphors. Like a fish that is enticed by the bait and then lured away, we fall into temptation when our “own desire”drags us to the bait. The problem is within us (). Again, notice that the text says, “his own Continue reading Dealing with Temptation

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil may not dwell with you.

And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.